News and analysis
July 22, 2012

Early-Career Nonprofit Employees: a Portrait

Frances M. Roberts/NEWSCOM

Findings from a survey of more than 913 young professionals who have worked at nonprofits for less than five years, conducted by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, with help from Nonprofit Leadership Alliance and Young Nonprofit Professionals Network:

Who’s Looking for Early-Career Nonprofit Jobs—and What They’re Finding

31% are actively seeking a job at another nonprofit group

10% are actively seeking a job outside the nonprofit world

39% of those seeking a nonprofit job have been looking for more than six months.

Education and Training

56% hold a bachelor’s degree as their highest level of completed education

29% hold a master’s degree

27% of master’s degrees are in nonprofit management or a similar discipline

38% of those who plan to attain a master’s degree say they want to earn one in nonprofit management

The Top 5 Causes to Which Fledging Nonprofit Workers Want to Dedicate Their Careers

Community foundations: 32%

Public affairs/advocacy: 31%

Social services: 30%

Colleges and universities: 28%

International/humanitarian aid: 26%

Early-Career Nonprofit Workers and Health-Care Benefits

74% receive health insurance through their employer

Of those who do:

38% are seeking a new job

Of those who do not:

48% receive it through a parent

14% have no coverage at all

53% are seeking a new job

The Role of Student-Loan Debt

65% of early-career nonprofit workers have student-loan debt

Of those who do:

30% of those have debt of $50,000 or more

31% have less than $20,000 in debt

82% say it has influence their career decisions

Note: Based on responses from 913 people who have been in the nonprofit workforce less than five years.